Last night saw me fleeing work on the stroke of 6 like Cinderella running from the ball. The only difference was I was rushing to get somewhere, whilst she was running away. Well, and I was minus one charming prince, two glass slippers and a ball gown to die for, but that was all about to change- I was off to the free Cinderella exhibition in Leicester Square Gardens!
I’d first seen the exhibition advertised in Time Out and at that point excitement struck. Like many girls, I’m a big fan of ball dresses and anything sparkly so a chance to see the costumes used in the new Disney movie couldn’t be passed up! It probably took me all of 30 seconds to reach for my computer and book my time slot to go see the exhibition!
Now, I guess it’s at this point I have to admit I haven’t actually seen the movie yet. I mean, of course I’ve seen the cartoon, but I haven’t got as far as the local cinema to see how they’ve transformed it into a production using real people (and mice?). But this didn’t stop me being any less enthusiastic about the whole thing.
When I arrived, I was whisked swiftly through a marquee entrance into a small room filled with beautiful illustrations, posters and memorabilia. It turned out that these illustrations were from the Disney archive, used in the production of the old cartoon and had never been seen by the public before! I thought they were really beautiful and it was interesting to recognise scenes from the cartoon.
We were then introduced to Cinder’s evil step mother and step sister (or their dresses at least!) before walking through to Cinderella’s cellar home and her everyday work dress. The detail on all the dresses was beautiful. We were told how the step sisters’ dresses were covered in hand painted flowers and the step-mother’s was green to represent the jealousy she had for Cinders.
The next room was dedicated to the Fairy Godmother. Her dresses were nestled in a pumpkin patch, all centred around a particularly large pumpkin encased in a glass house... Her dresses were also amazing- one (the one she wears when she’s disguised as an old crone) had a much more earthy feel to it whereas the other was a sparkling affair, suitable for the most regal of fairies! The attention to detail was just stunning and the dress practically glowed it was covered in so many Swarovski crystals!
I walked through the pumpkin and turned to see it had transformed into a magnificent golden carriage. Suddenly, it looked like I would be going to the ball!
The penultimate room held the dress I couldn’t wait to see- Cinderella’s iconic blue ball gown! It sparkled as she danced with the prince, surrounded by dresses inspired by countries from around the world (all equally beautiful, if not as show stopping). Cinders’ dress really was stunning and I just wish I could have tried it on!
In the final room of the exhibition, I got a chance to try on the shoe. Well okay, not the real one but a virtual one. Better than nothing though!
The whole exhibition, although quick to get around, was beautifully put together and totally magical. It thoroughly brought the fairy tale to life and definitely fulfilled its duty at stirring up excitement about the new film. If I had previously planned on missing it, I can assure you I won’t now!
If you’re interested in visiting the exhibition, book yourself some tickets on Ticketmaster. They’re free but just give you a time slot to visit. Don’t worry thought if they’re sold out etc- I saw people queuing outside and being allowed in and I also turned up before my slot and was allowed in early, although admittedly this may have been because it was a rainy weeknight! Worth a shot though!